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 Interview "Metal from Finland"

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Tuomas - Nemo
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Messages : 407
Date d'inscription : 2013-05-24
Age : 24
Localisation : France

PostSubject: Interview "Metal from Finland"   Fri 24 May - 14:34

Interview with Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen

Nightwish is nowadays Finland's greatest music export which competes against Lordi. The state of the affair isn't quite balanced because all eyes are now on Nightwish. The new album Dark Passion Play will be released next week and the tour starts in October. Even the smallest daily papers are following the band's news. However, the biggest question is “what power takes the thing forth?” The singer or the composer?

Let us focus on the most important person of Nightwish: without Tuomas Holopainen we wouldn't have Nightwish or anything to talk about. Elsewhere most of the Finnish media is reporting about the new album, about the new singer, about the expectations and the band's change, but we wanted to meet this man from behind the scenes. First we saw of Tuomas Holopainen was an old sailor's smile and a piercing gaze – after that, being in a surprisingly positive mood, Tuomas turned out to be a bit more exeptional person. And then this shy boy, every goth girl's dream, told with his calm dialect about his favourite drinks and his woman of dreams.

Hi, how's it going?

Nothing special. I just haven't waken up yet, but it'll pass.

Did anything extraordinary happen yesterday?

Not really. We were rehearsing with the band. Actually I went to bed at ten.

So how's the band? Getting ready for the album release and the tour?

Well... Everything's going very smooth... I mean everyone seems very excited, even a bit scared about the coming gigs and how they'll go. Anette is doing really well at the rehearsal. The band is still completely out but we still have time (laughter)...

Of the new album's songs Eva touches me the most. What can you tell about the song?

I've always written songs about childhood, innocence and childhood's happiness so this time I decided to do a song about the other side of childhood. There's no real story behind Eva, she's just a girl who's bullied at school. She's the most sincere, perfect human being you can imagine, who goes to school every day not knowing what the day will bring. A sad little story.

But you don't have such experiences?

No, but I've seen it happen. I've never been bullied, so to speak.

Let's talk about childhood a bit more. You've always said how perfect your own childhood was, living and growing up in the countryside. But on the other hand, isn't it important for children to grow in a more social environment, with other children?

Of course that is also important. I had this kind of side in my childhood. I had lots of friends at school when I was little.

You've also said that you don't like to explain the meanings of songs and albums but among the new songs there are some that send a very clear message, like Bye Bye Beautiful...

You can tell about them, but I don't want to explain them word by word. It's no secret that Bye Bye Beautiful tells about Tarja. It's our farewell to her. I don't know where the title came from. It just came. The song is made in good spirit. It could be called Bye Bye Ugly One but that would've been very insulting, wouldn't it (laughter)?

In the end of the older Ever Dream is mentioned that it tells about your two dreams, one of which came true. What about the other one?

Never (laughter) no...

Is it true that you'll re-record Angels Fall First-album with Anette?

No. It's just a rumour. We aren't going to re-record old albums, that's for sure. Maybe we'll record live versions of some older songs, as bonus tracks in example, but nothing in a studio.

What's the next single and video?

Bye Bye Beautiful. It's quite surprising, something you'd never have expected to see on a Nightwish video. It's rather shocking, everyone who has seen it has been like “what the f*ck”. And you know, I think it's quite ironic. It's also funny, in a way, although it's not one of my favourite videos.

In what state of mind were you composing the new album?

Well... Bitter, very sad, dark...

Have you got over it?

Yeah!!! (really happily) It's actually a funny thing because every song on the album has been composed in 2005 and in the beginning of 2006. I saw things very differently back then. Now it feels really strange to rehearse songs like Poet and the Pendulum or Bye Bye Beautiful because I can't get into the same feeling anymore. Now I sort of hear them like an outsider. But though feelings have changed since then we can still play those songs.

Many things have happened during the past year. Big changes. Do you feel like you've evolved as a person and as a musician in the process?

Things have actually changed very little. The soul of the musician, my persona, hasn't really changed. Maybe I've become more cynical, I can face certain things in humour and I don't get insulted so easily. The media rumba of 2005 taught me a lot in that. Maybe I'm also a bit more broadminded and I don't take things so personally and seriously. But the shyness and the self-esteem issues still exist. Perhaps I believe in me a bit more, but just a bit.

Then, what do you still miss in your life?

Let's say balance... (long pause). I feel like all things are going up and down inside me but I wish they'd get balanced. Or that I could forgive myself the matter that I'm not perfect in all ways. I'm also very impatient so patience is the virtue I'd like to have. 'Cause everything has to happen here and now, like with little children, so...

What do you think on stage, when you are performing?

On stage you feel like you're in your own micro cosmos. You really live the songs there, you don't just play them, you sink into them. You're like in a totally different world. You don't really think about it. I like to play with my eyes closed because when I look at the audience I go rigid as shit. This of course depends on where you play and how you feel. Usually a gig is a two-hour escape to your own little world, at its best it's a huge mutual orgasm between the band and the audience.

Which do you appreciate more, the making process or the result?

Definitely the process. It's a thing you have to remember. We've been doing this album ten months in studio. You just wait the day when the finished package and the master tape is in your hands. The feeling is relieved every time that happens, “finally it's done”. But then hits the depression. “It's over already?” - so the journey is always more rewarding than the arrival. You keep that in mind.

Speaking of making albums, what was the best and what the worst feeling you had when making this album?

Hmm... In many ways this was the easiest album of all. I mean that there wasn't a spiritual jam in any point, the chemistries were working constantly, everyone was really self-confident. So even though it was a big process, it really was the easiest. We had also very fun in the studio. I can't think of anything bad...
Maybe the fact that it took so much time. So the worst part was that I was married to these songs for two years. I thought about them each day, every moment. When I finally got the master in my hands I couldn't make anything out of it the first time I listened to it. After that I couldn't listen to the album in weeks. That took some time but I can listen to it now and it feels good.

Were you able to take a vacation after the studio sessions?

I had a week off a couple of weeks ago. I had finally time to move in to my new house.

What's it like?

It's great (smiles). It's the first residence I actually own. It's truly fantastic to own something own. I don't often get the urge to take an actual vacation. As a musician I'm never at work and never on a vacation. The boundary between the two is very fragile.

And then something totally different. Here are a few objects. Choose a couple of them, the ones that mean something to you. Then tell us what they mean or represent to you.

There was a mask, a dwarf figurine, Disney's Beauty and the Beast figurine, a five Euro bill, Oceanborn-cd, a compass, a small bottle of whiskey, a leather whip, a tea bag, an old black-and-white photograph, a needle and a key in the basket.

So what ever comes to mind? Well, those two (dwarf figurines) instantly caught my eye since my mother calls me her own little house elf. So whenever I come home from anywhere there's always a card in my room, saying “welcome home, my little house elf”. I think that's quite cute. I love her, she's great! I love these kind of elf and fantasy figurines.

This other elf is a cook, the other takes care of himself.

Oh yes. I like to cook and eat... Though I don't take very good care of myself. I dye my hair time to time and put on some kohl now and then, but that's pretty much it.
The next object is definitely this whiskey bottle. See, when it comes to liquor, whiskey is my favourite drink!

What kind of whiskey?

Scotch, malt whiskey. Belantines is a mixed whiskey, which is quite ok. But I like Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. All strongly smoke-flavoured stuff. That's the best.

And you drink them neat?

Of course! No ice nor coke. If you want a whiskey cola you should use Bourbon, like Jack Daniels or Jim Beam. But never mix coke with mal whiskey, that's blasphemy!

What happens to you when you drink?

I get drunk (laughs)! I get a bit more talkative, a bit more social and a bit more broadminded, but never aggressive. I'm not like that. Just more talkative.

Do you have any fun drunken memories?

Of course, who wouldn't (laughs)! Sometimes when you get drunk with the guys you sometimes end up naked, sometimes even in public. It's slightly embarrassing afterwards because you don't know where your clothes are...

Well, that's happened to everyone...

Exactly! What else do we have here? This (a compass) reminds me of hiking, which is possibly my favourite pastime. I feel really bad 'cause I didn't have time to go hiking this fall. It's always been a supply of life to me. Like psychic and spiritual cleansing. This year I just haven't had time for it so I don't know how I'm going to cope.

Where do you usually go hiking?

To Lapland, Finland. Kuusamo, Karhukierros, I've been almost everywhere in Finland. Usually I hike in a forest from five days to a week, 5-6 nights and 50-80 kilometres.

Do you fish or hunt in addition to hiking?

I never fish or hunt. I just hike. It's the best. Sometimes we have a tent but I prefer sleeping in a cabin.

But a tent is more romantic. All the noises and you're closer to nature...

True, but it can be romantic in a cabin as well. And it's easier. I love the nature. Peace and quiet. I also love physical exertion. You have to be like a wet rag and every muscle must hurt when you finally reach the campfire. You can feel the strain of the walking in your legs, that's the best feeling ever. After a week of hiking you return to the hotel and to shower. You must not shower during the hike. You must be dirty and sweaty. I love it, it's my thing!
And then what?... I'll choose this (Diney figurine), everyone knows that I'm an insane Disney-fan and Beauty and the Beast is my favourite of the Disney-films. I always felt like the Beast, something rotten inside, but a good heart. Ugly from the outside, longs for the perfect woman. I think that my perfect woman in this world is Belle. Everyone else dreams of models or of Pamela Andersson but I dream of Belle. I think she's the most beautiful ever – and she's also a nice character. I'd have her if I had a chance.

How about money?

Money (the five Euro bill). I don't know. I'm really bad when it comes to money. I don't even know how much of it I have or how much I make. I don't know about our gig fees or how many royalties we get. I shouldn't say this aloud but I really don't know. My father takes care of these things. But sometimes ignorance is bliss when you don't have to worry of such.
On the other hand I'm a bit ashamed 'cause I'm so bad at money business, but I just am. That world couldn't interest me less. It takes effort to go to a bank and take care of insurance matters or anything, you know. But to some people, like our drummer, money is a second nature. He likes to deal with money. It doesn't make him greedy but it's good that we have one guy who understands something about these things.

How about rest of the band? What's the loveliest thing in Anette?

She's really open personality. She has a catchy smile and character. She's different from the other band members in that and she's really pretty too.

So the rest of you isn't so open and easy to approach?

That's the case. She brings balance to the band by being so open. You can make her smile and laugh easily.

Do you think that her being a foreigner affects that?

Not in any way! We possess the same Nordic, even a bit melancholy way of thinking.

What's the most romantic thing in Emppu?

(Laughs and then a long pause) He's a great listener. Emppu's always asking “how are you doing” and “do you have heartaches, would you tell about them?” He's really unselfish and honest. He truly cares about his friends and their well-being.

So he's a good psychologist?

Yes. Very good.

What's the strangest thing in Jukka?

He's thoroughly vegetarian. He doesn't wear leather clothes, he doesn't eat fish or chicken. He eats eggs but nothing that has ever breathed. He's very precise about it.

What's the most annoying thing in you?

Maybe impatience, I want all at once and that can be a bit annoying.

What's the funniest thing in Marco?

The funniest thing in Marco (rolls the R)... He's a very verbal person. I don't know how he does it but he has a great sense of situation comedy. At gigs for example, when he talks to the audience, things can get overly funny. Although a couple of times it has gone too far...

What did he do?

We used to play Megadeath's Symphony Of Destruction on the American tour and he said nasty things about some of their politicians. I told him that that's not Nightwish' thing, we'll leave such rants to U2 and System Of A Down.

If you could re-incarnate as someone else, who would it be?

Walt Disney. I'd like to know whether he was so good a person I've always imagined him being.

What kind of a man do you think he was?

A complete genius, genuinely innocent and child-like. Perhaps I wouldn't want to meet him because if he wasn't like I've imagined him, it would crush my illusions and make me sad.

Have you ever experienced a close call?

Once. I fell asleep on the driving wheel. In 2004 we had just come back from a tour and the plane had landed. My car was waiting at the air port. After 20 kilometres I fell asleep and I recall waking up when friends shouted “Wake up, wake up!! Are you sleeping?”. The car had already drifted to the other lane and there was a car ahead of us, 30 metres away. If I had woken up a second later...

Fate! If you believe in such...

I'm very skeptical about those things. My life philosophy is that I believe in everything, that everything is possible, but I don't have a strong faith. I wish I had. I wish I could believe strongly, for example, in God but it's a fifty-fifty situation to me. Yes or no. And it goes for everything.

Do you believe that soul can have an age?

Soul?! (long pause) Same answer. Maybe... Hard to say.

Can you laugh at yourself?

Yes – and I'm really good at that! Every morning after I wake up I look into a mirror and laugh. I also laugh at Nightwish. I'm really good at this.

What would you add to the Seven deadly sins?

Intolerance. I think it's the biggest cancer in the world.

Are you happy?

Yes I am. I love life and I think world is a beautiful place. I've been blessed with so many good things that I'd be the most ungrateful guy in the world if I wasn't happy.
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